PRESTWICH Heys Reserves celebrated a hat-trick of titles at Adie Moran Park on Saturday with a 2-0 victory over play-off hopefuls Atherton Town.

The win rubber-stamped the club's third title in as many years, adding the Manchester League Division One crown to two straight Division Two titles.

It was also confirmed by league officials that Tony Hanson's side would be allowed to take up a promotion place, meaning they will compete next season as the only second team in the Premier Division.

First-team boss Jon Lyons, who led his side into the Hallmark Security League after claiming the Premier Division title in 2015-16, believes the reserves' achievement was an important milestone in the club's development.

"The success of the reserves benefits the whole club," said Lyons.

"It shows how strong we are and also makes it easier to keep everyone happy in a big squad.

"The step-up from the Manchester League Premier Division to the Hallmark Security League is not as big, so there is not such a gulf in quality for upcoming players to bridge.

"Also, players who are not getting a regular start in the first team will not mind so much stepping down to the Manchester Premier.

"So it is a really significant moment in the club's development."

The Division One title was the club's eighth trophy in the last three seasons.

Only five years ago, the first team came perilously close to being relegated from the Manchester League Premier Division, so the reserves' latest triumph marks a remarkable renaissance.

The fact they achieved the success in a division predominantly of first teams, winning by a six-point margin, puts it into perspective.

The title was clinched last Tuesday with a 4-0 win at Altrincham Hale, where two Adam Nuttall goals and further strikes by Ryan Cain and Matt Carr started the celebrations early.

Saturday's celebratory atmosphere was added to by the retirements of club stalwarts Steve Charles and Matt Jolly.

The duo's goals over the years have played a big part in the club’s success.

In Jolly’s case, it brought to an end a decade of service at both first-team and reserve level, which included a league and cup double as player/manager of the reserves last season.

It was perhaps fitting he scored both goals against Atherton. Jolly slotted home the opener in the 51st minute, netting the rebound after Cain's shot hit the bar, and then converted a Carr cross 15 minutes later.

Jolly and Charles exited to warm applause shortly after, and Heys continued to control the game to its conclusion before the party hit full swing.